For better or for worse, there are multiple diagonal streets in D.C. that are named for the fifty states. Sometimes, they merely cross the corresponding numbered and named streets but more often than in most American cities, they result in traffic circles. Now, we could curse the Frenchman who laid out our city (curse you, L'Enfant!) or we could appreciate the fact that many of these traffic circles are green and rather beautiful. So why not vote for your favorite in the poll below. We eliminated several circles from this poll, because there are several that are fake semi-circles (looking at you, Columbus Circle), incomplete circles (sorry, Observatory Circle), defunct cirlces (you try to find Truxton Circle) or circles that are 50% in Maryland (Chevy Chase Circle and the nightmare that is Blair Circle). That said, if we somehow missed your favorite, there's no need to throw pitchforks, but do tell us in the comments.
This is perhaps the most famous and largest of D.C.'s circles and as it's also a popular neighborhood, barely needs an introduction. But right now it's particularly beautiful as the fountain is on for the summer.
Another popular neighborhood in Northwest D.C., Logan Circle also has the distinction of being the only circle on this list that has garnered a spot on a previous map of underrated green spaces.
Thomas Circle, Scott Circle, Logan Circle and Dupont Circle are all in rather close proximity, but despite being one of the busiest intersections, Thomas is also one of the most memorable. Also, that Bikeshare stop on the west side of the circle is quite helpful.
Scott Circle itself isn't just a green space, but the areas around it are as well. There's a statue of Brevet Lt. General Winfield Scott in the center of the circle, but it's also flanked by the Hahnemann Memorial and several embassies and hotels.
This is one of Petworth's defining landmarks. The tree lined circle (with a giant tree in the middle) is the busier of the two, but it's also (just barely) the greener of the two as well.
The second of Petworth's two grand circles is frequented by a number of cyclists passing through as well as children with soccer balls and parents with kites. It's also one of the bastions of fall foliage that stays colorful longer than its surrounding streets.
Anna J. Cooper Circle
This may be the prettiest circle that nobody knows about. This shady Bloomingdale space has benches and even the road around it looks immaculately landscaped. It's also the only circle on this list explicitly named after a woman.
The statue of Civil War general Philip H. Sheridan anchors this statue on Massachusetts Avenue. The nice thing about this statue as opposed to the ones in many of the other circles: this has stairs and a larger base at which people can sit.
As opposed to nearby Tenley Circle which isn't so much a traffic circle as it is a traffic annoyance (why are we turning right to go left?), Ward Circle is a beautiful area that also serves as a welcome to American University's campus.
Although this more often refers to the nearby neighborhood, Barney Circle is also an important between the areas west and east of the Anacostia River. It may also be the least green of the circles in this poll.
Southeast D.C.'s largest entry is home to no statue or park per se, but it is very grassy and pleasant. It also doesn't have entirely too much traffic coming through the area which is a plus in and of itself.
This one has derived a bit of unpleasant notoriety since that's where last fall's fatal National Mall car chase ended, but of the two circles in front of the Capitol, it's the more floral.
· List of Circles in Washington, D.C. [Wikipedia]
· All Outdoors Week 2014 Coverage [CDC]